You’ve probably heard horror stories about troubles with builders, costs that spiralled out of control, and sites that were left half-finished. However, the large percentage of builders are both professional and talented, and you can avoid poor experiences just by how you choose, manage, and communicate with them. Here’s why it’s important to create the groundwork for a positive relationship with your builder – and how to do it right.
Avoid approaching a builder too soon
It may seem reasonable to approach a builder first if you are considering having construction work done, but don’t be too fast.
Contractors are generally adept at pricing after they know exactly what is desired, but requesting a price before you even have any drawings or specific information about the project is equivalent to inviting them to tell you only what they believe you want to hear.
My recommendation is to approach builders after you have a set of designs and a list about what will (and will not) be included. Otherwise, you risk basing the project on a figure that is far from accurate.
Consider the project’s scope
Find the correct type of construction company for your project. A luxury retail contractor must be extremely managed, with many managers, a well-organized back office, and teams that can function around the clock and execute extraordinarily high-quality work at speed. Such contractors are typically pricey, and for most people, a kitchen extension or attic conversion would be out of reach.
On the other end of the scale, many owner-manager builders conduct a majority of the work personally on-site and manage everything using a cell phone on their hip.
Determine whether you require a specialist or a general contractor
Unless the task is special, a decent general builder is appropriate.
A decent general builder, for instance, is perfectly capable of converting an attic or constructing a basement. Of course, you could go to a roof space or basement company, and they may also do an excellent job. The most important thing is to select someone who will do good work at a reasonable cost. Similarly, you can hire a staircase company to build a staircase or a door company to sell you doors — or simply hire a decent woodworker to do so.
If you are looking for home builders in Brisbane, you should be able to find some general contractors around.
Aim for one contact point
Rather than hiring a general contractor, it may appear prudent to try to save money by hiring individual craftsmen such as electricians, plasterers, and carpenters.
While it is undeniable that a general contractor would take a modest cut of the subcontractors’ costs, I would say that this money is well-earned. Managing and organizing the many trades on-site necessitates a high level of skill and experience.
I’ve seen a lot of individuals who try to do it themselves wind up in a terrible mess and with a botched project that goes over time and budget — not to mention the anguish they’ve gone through.